I followed University of Memphis art student Chris Reed over the course of a several days in an effort to document his journey of casting his clay hand sculpture in bronze. His hand sculpture is a project dealing with the crucifix, and when completed will include another hand, and a set of feet and nails.
Here Chris takes pieces of metal and place them around the edges of the hand sculpture to create a two-sided mold when he places it into plaster, as seen below.
Here is the two-sided hand mold which Chris will fill with wax and reform the hand all over again, In the garbage sites the clay stripped from the plaster mold.
Chris places the mold into water for a minute or two before starting the process of filling it with wax.
Then Chris took a rubber band and another device to hold the mold together, and seals the cracks with clay, before he pores the wax into the mold to recreate the hand in wax, as seen in the photos below.
Here Chris is assisted by his friend Thomas Elliot.
The wax machine.
Here Chris and Thomas move the mold back and forth as they fill it with wax, as to be sure to coat each corner of the mold.
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The next day Chris removes the wax hand from the mold and uses a carving knife and blow torch to begin the reshaping process of detail in the hand. As you noticed that this hand has no fingers, Chris also did a similar process to finger molds made from silicone and reattached them at a later time.
Here Chris adds wax to one of the fingers to mold it back to the desired proportion.
Here Chris works on carving the wax hand and smoothing it out as much as possible, before he puts it into another mold in which he will cook and pore bronze into the mold, and then you will get to see the final result the hand casted in bronze.